Westborough volleyball defeats Longmeadow, heads to state finals

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Westborough volleyball defeats Longmeadow, heads to state finals
Westborough’s Lena Roche (left) and Maggie Cardin (right) attempt to block the ball. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

WORCESTER – Westborough is back in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 volleyball championship game.

The top-seeded Westborough Rangers defeated the fourth-seeded Longmeadow Lancers on Wednesday night at Worcester North High School. The Rangers’ straight-set win propelled the team into the state championship for the third straight year.

“It’s really exciting,” said senior captain Quinn Anderson. “I’m so happy to be doing it with this team. We always dream of this sort of stuff, and it feels great to go back there.”

Westborough overwhelmed Longmeadow from the start, jumping out to an early 12-5 lead. The Rangers cruised to an opening set victory, outscoring the Lancers 25-10. The second set would feature the same dominance; Westborough’s second-straight 25-10 set officially put the team on the doorstep of another championship appearance.

“I thought we served pretty tough and I thought our transition game was sharp. When they gave us opportunities, we took them, and we were pretty efficient,” said Head Coach Roger Anderson.

Although Westborough commanded both prior sets, Longmeadow wouldn’t fold. The Lancers held even with the Rangers in the third set, forcing Westborough to call timeout with the score knotted at 11. Westborough eventually overcame the Lancers’ challenge and came away with the third set (25-18). The Rangers stormed the court after the victory.

Westborough has gone 1-1 in state championship games over the last two years, falling to Hopkinton in 2021 before winning the 2022 title against King Philip. The only team standing between Westborough and back-to-back state titles is third-seeded Canton, which defeated second-seeded Algonquin in an exciting, down-to-the-wire match on Monday.

Westborough hasn’t faced Canton recently, but Roger Anderson seemed confident that as long as the Rangers stayed level-headed and executed, they would find success.

“We approach every game the same – we just want to get a little bit better between now and Saturday. We want to play together as a team and communicate like a great team does… We’ll certainly scout [Canton] on video and try to prepare what we can, but it’s really about us executing our plans well,” he told the Community Advocate.

Roger Anderson said the team will take the night to celebrate, but the players will be back in the gym tomorrow working to become better like they have been doing every day throughout the entire season.

Westborough will face off against Canton at Worcester State on Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m.

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